Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn

Zahn tells one of the best Star Wars stories I've read.
Vision of the Future book cover

Set: 19 ABY

The Empire's master plan is under way. The New Republic is on the verge of civil war and the rumor that the legendary Admiral Thrawn has returned from the dead is rallying the Imperial forces. Now, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and their allies face the challenge of their lives. They must infiltrate a hidden fortress filled with Imperial fanatics, rendezvous with a double-dealing Imperial commander, and journey into enemy territory to learn the identity of those responsible for an act of unthinkable genocide. But most important of all is the truth about Thrawn. In his hands—alive or dead—rests the fate of the New Republic.

The second book in Timothy Zahn’s The Hand of Thrawn duology continues the suspense and thrills in ‘Vision of the Future.’ This pair of books are a brilliant addition to an already stellar line up of Star Wars books that Zahn has written for the Star Wars universe, and a continuation of the storylines of some of the greatest characters ever created therein.

One of the best parts of this storyline is the long awaited for sparking of romance between Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. And unlike some books, Zahn knows how to play it right and make you wait just long enough. There are no mad head over heels confessions of everlasting love, but a slow growth of friendship. Above that though is the way in which Mara Jade ends up teaching Luke a thing or two that he needs to learn, and makes you really think about the stories that have come before; a talent that Zahn uses over and over.

Thrawn’s sudden return continues, and throws everybody into a panic. The planet Bothawui is the focus of much of the storyline, and we see some really impressive storytelling as not everything goes the way of the good guys. There are times when it looks like everything’ll come up smelling like roses, but then the unexpected happens and there is death and mayhem and failure.

This book is just full of greatness, as is exemplified by the Han and Leia storylines, the Luke and Mara Jade storylines, and the storylines focusing on Talon Karrde and his new bodyguard, Shada D’ukal. We get to see into the mind and history of the smuggling genius that is Karrde, and his similarities and differences to Han Solo. Additionally, Shada’s storyline is mesmerizing from top to bottom, as is the character herself.

In Vision of the Future – a title that actually does link to parts of the book, and parts which will set up a lot of what is to come – Zahn tells one of the best Star Wars stories I’ve read. The best way to read it is to read through all the books that Zahn has written, as they all tie into each other. However there is no need to do that as each book stands wonderfully on its own.

In other words, make sure you’re reading this book by the time I put up the next review.

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